May is Public Assistance Awareness Month in Ohio, and Fulton County Job and Family Services (FCJFS) is spreading the word that “Fraud Costs All of Us.” FCJFS has planned two special events in May to promote fraud awareness that include Family Fun Day on May 13th, 2017 as well “wear green” day in support of Fraud Awareness on Thursday May 11th, 2017.
“Fraud is not something we take lightly in Fulton County,” states Marsha Horner, Fraud Investigator for FCJFS. “Recently we’ve partnered with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office to assist us in investigations, which has really helped us crack down on this problem.”
In 2016, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services disbursed about $2.4 billion in SNAP food assistance, $237 million in Ohio Works First cash assistance and $617 million in child care provider subsidies. Individuals who mislead caseworkers or lie on an application for benefits account for a very small percentage of the funding disbursed, but the department takes even the smallest fraud cases very seriously.
Last year in Fulton County (2016), Job and Family Services investigated 79 claims with a total claim amount of $121,514.30. The total claim amount collected was $61,572.07.
Fraud is noted in all aspects of SNAP food assistance including Medicaid, Cash Assistance, and Daycare.
Horner notes that awareness is key to the process. “We hope the community will join us and wear green on May 11th, to show their support as well as come out to our First Annual Family Fun Day on May 13th at FCJFS.” Family Fun Day will run from 11am-2pm at FCJFS, 604 S. Shoop Ave., Wauseon, OH. The event, which is free to the public, will feature bouncy houses, face painting, kids activities, superhereos, door prizes and a complimentary lunch. They will also have Fulton County vendors and information booths available. Community photos taken for “Wear Green Day” can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org to be posted their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Applicants and recipients of public assistance programs are encouraged to report their circumstances accurately and timely in order to avoid facing potential criminal charges, program disqualification and repayment of benefits issued improperly. Residents of Fulton County may report suspected public assistance fraud by calling Marsha Horner, FCJFS Fraud Investigator at 419-337-0010 option 2 for Public Assistance then option 4 to report fraud or go to jfs.ohio.gov/fraud.